Just rescued a STB from Camelot as my first horse...
I've been doing research the last few months and was thinking that sometime in the next year, I'd also adopt a STB. Over this past Thanksgiving weekend, an 11 year old retired mare didn't sell at Camelot and was in danger of going to slaughter so I made a hasty decision and bought her. This thread has made me feel much better about my decision (well, knowing I saved her also feels pretty good!). I met her for the first time at the quarantine barn on Sunday and she was awesome. Sweet, quiet, calm. I can't wait to get her home to me the end of December. I am a novice Western rider and I'm going to take my time with her. Lots of bonding before any riding is attempted. And thankfully I have several experienced riders who are willing to help with her, too. Although the few people who have met her don't think she'll be any trouble. I'm looking forward to many happy years together!
It's not difficult at all
And I've found the pacing bred ones are a little quieter than the trotters. Just an opinion, not a fact, but I've rubbed a bunch of them and the trotters seemed "hotter". Certain bloodlines can have a little stubborn streak, but even that isn't usually bad.
The canter will come, but realize that these horses are taught early NOT to canter. All can, nearly all will learn, sometimes it's a little ugly at first, transition wise. Most of them are damn near bombproof if they've been at the track a while. They'll almost all stand in cross ties forever and there isn't much they haven't seen.
They are smart, loveable and loyal and have endurance to spare, they are "interval trained" so they are used to long miles. Never thought about one for endurance, but I could see where they'd be good at it.